2.0 characters are not replacements; they are entry points! These "2.0" or "replicated" characters are modern takes that new audiences (most notably kids) can relate to. New characters are created and used to introduce the next generation of fans to the wider world we older fans already know and love.

For example, Miles Morales and Spider Gwen (aka Ghost Spider) have helped introduce thousands of new young fans to the ever-growing Spider-man world.

Other 2.0 characters include, but are not limited to:

  • Miles Morales is the 2.0 to Peter Parker (Spider-man)
  • Scott Lang is the 2.0 to Hank Pym (Ant-Man)
  • Carol Danvers is the 2.0 to Khn'nr (Captain Marvel)
  • X23 is the 2.0 to Logan (Wolverine)
  • Sam Wilson (Falcon) is the 2.0 to Steve Rogers (Captain America)
  • Jennifer Walters is the 2.0 to Bruce Banner (Hulk)
  • Beta Ray Bill is the 2.0 to Thor (Kind of...)
  • Riri Williams is the 2.0 to Tony Stark (Iron-...)
  • Kate Bishop is the 2.0 to Clint Barton (Hawkeye)

The concept of 2.0 can even be extended to other versions of characters (as opposed to being labeled 3.0, etc...)
Such characters include the likes of:

  • Superior Spider-man, Silk, and any other Spider characters with their own series...
  • Stature, aka Casey Lang
  • Ms Marvel, aka Kamala Khan (again, kind of...)
  • Hulk, aka Amadius Chou
  • Red Hulk, aka General Ross
    And many more...

The truth is, kids need to be both interested and entertained in reading and have material that is applicable to their independent reading level. If you can tick these three boxes, the kids will be hooked.

In recent years, we have seen certain graphic novels and manga being sourced through libraries and schools. These are fast becoming entry points for children to access the world of comics. This is useful, as the local comic shop might not be up to their independent reading level yet.

But Are 2.0 Characters Actually Needed?

One could fairly and reasonably argue that the character of Spider-Man never needed a 2.0 character. One of the BEST things about his design has always been that he is completely covered from head to toe and cannot be identified via skin tone or gender, unlike the many other heroes at the time and since.

"Anyone can wear the Mask"

However, there is no denying that both Miles Morales and Spider- Gwen (aka Ghost Spider) have both been welcomed additions to the greater Spider-man universe, proving that you never truly know what might stick when you throw an idea or concept out into the wild.

Ben Reilly vs Miles Morales

Ben Reilly was not a 2.0 character. Granted, as the years have gone on, he has become one. But his creation and design at the time were to serve a different purpose. At the time, the writers over at Marvel didn't like what Peter Parker's Spider-man had become and wanted to return the character to his roots. They opted to revive the clone from Amazing Spider-Man #149 as a scapegoat.

(See my previous article titled: The Dark Age of Spider-man: The Clone Saga)

Miguel O'Hara, aka Spider-Man 2099, could technically be seen as a 2.0 character, as he brought in a new audience via a new title and run designed specifically for that purpose.

We currently hear a lot of fans complaining that their favourite characters are being ruined as the years go on. With so many reboots and retcons, I can kind of see where those arguments are coming from. Having 2.0 characters not only allows new audiences to find the material but also allows for new ideas to be explored without tarnishing what is already loved.

What are your thoughts on 2.0 Characters? Do you believe them to be necessary to draw in new readers or do you think they are simply in-house rip-offs of what came before? Let us know in the comments!